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Britain Investigates Hoisting of Hezbollah Flag in Ashura Procession | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi Shi’ites take part in Ashura commemorations in Karbala on October 11, 2016. Mohammed Sawaf/AFP

London- Scotland Yard is currently investigating the appearance of Lebanese so-called Hezbollah flags at a procession of Ashura organized last Wednesday in the British capital.

A spokeswoman from the Scotland Yard told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the investigation was ongoing over the presence of the Lebanese party’s flags during the march, which she said “was supposed to be religious and not political.”

Several Muslim leaders in Britain condemned the politicization of the procession by raising slogans and chants that were not linked to the annual religious commemoration.

Head of the Muslim Association of Britain, Dr. Omar el-Hamdoon told Asharq al-Awsat: “It would have been much better if the commemoration was kept in its frame of religious practices, away from Hezbollah flags which were unfitting and only fueled division among the Muslim community.”

El-Hamdoon said it was important to keep sectarian feuds away from religious events and from the British community.

Commenting on what happened last Wednesday, director of London’s Al-Maqreze Centre for Historical Studies Hani Sibai told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hezbollah was hoisting the party’s flags in London “to cover its failure in the war, the killing of its members in Syria, its disappointment with Houthis in Yemen and its alignment with Russia against the innocent Syrian residents.”

Sibai said: “Shi’ites believe that Sunnis are the sons of those who had killed al-Hussein, and therefore they are also trafficking in religion every year by inciting unrests during religious commemorations, which is unacceptable.”

From his part, Yasser al-Sirri, director at the Islamic Observatory Center, a legal institution specialized with the news of Islamic groups worldwide, said: “The hoisting of Hezbollah slogans during the procession was supposed to be reported to the police or any organizer from the Ashura march.”